Burnside 1996 (Halcyon Spirits)

Burnside 1996 (Halcyon Spirits)

Halcyon Spirits is aiming high. So far all of their bottlings have been upmarket releases from well-known distilleries. Macallan, Auchentoshan and Clynelish, always 30 years and older.

Their newest release is this Burnside 1996, a 27 year old teaspooned Balvenie.


Burnside 27 yo 1996 (52,9%, Halcyon Spirits 2024, sherry finish, 292 btl.)

Nose: lots of fruits. Fresh figs and caramelized pears, hints of cherry jam and dried apricots. Heather honey, raisins and drops of dark syrup. Stewed apples, some orange peels and beeswax. Then also beautiful cigar boxes and some baking spice. A nice mix of fresher fruits and dried fruits. Very forthcoming.

Mouth: more syrupy than expected. Not entirely classic though. There’s a bourbonny sweetness (coconut oil, vanilla and mashed banana) as well as a sherry sweetness (dates, herbal honey, berries). Then tobacco notes appear, as well as bittersweet spice and liquorice. Hints of oriental wood as well. Interesting combo.

Finish: quite long, with dried fruits and herbal honey, tobacco and hints of ginger.

Never had this kind of Burnside profile. It’s thicker, more aromatic than expected, with a clever sherry influence on top of the original wood. It diverts from the gentle Balvenie character but the result is pretty great. Now available from Halcyon Spirits.